Poetry was originally a spoken art. It grew out of speech, not writing, and in fact developed long before writing was ever invented. Poetry is essentially speech raised to its highest intensity, a way of using words in the most moving and memorable way possible. The greek poet Homer never wrote down his poems, but performed them aloud, combining memeory and improvisation almost like a rap star. A poem isn't written to be analysed, but to be experienced, emotionally as well as intellectually. A poem isn't a message in secret code. It is a work of art. Your aim in reciting a poem should be to let people experience it directly like a movie or a song. Remember poetry is about pleasure. So here are a few poems for you, simply to enjoy.
First is poet Kay Ryan.
Jenny Kiss’d Me
By Leigh Hunt
[Read by Kay Ryan]
Jenny kiss’d me when we met,
Jumping from the chair she sat in;
Time, you thief, who love to get
Sweets into your list, put that in!
Say I’m weary, say I’m sad,
Say that health and wealth have miss’d me,
Say I’m growing old, but add,
Jenny kiss’d me.
An Audio Guide to Poetry Recitation - 3. "Jenny Kiss'd Me"
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